Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day 3: Barefoot Walking

Slide Day 3 – The third week of our look at Celtic Christianity, as guided by Philip Newell’s The Book of Creation. (pp. 33-47)..

The focus for day 3 is looking at how God is a generous God.
The Celts see this generosity displayed through a connection between the gift of creation and the gift of God’s grace.

Emerging with this chapter of Newell’s The book of Creation, are themes echoed on the approaching Earth Day as well as themes lifted up in the national movement for pay raises.
There are challenges as we would hope and expect.
What I love about being in a community of faith is that we don’t have to shy away from challenges, but instead can listen with our own ears and share from our own perspectives what we are hearing.

There is a three level movement in this sermon.
The first is our connection with Creation.
The second, considering how this connection with creation results in the way we treat one another.
And the third, how the gift of creation relates to the gift of grace.

Let’s see what moves in us...

First: Our connection with Creation.
As many of you know, Trasie and I spent 7 brown and cold springs in the high desert of New Mexico before moving back to our home of Georgia…,
it's so wonderful to be back in the south for Spring
Greening all around. plants bursting forth!
The colors on the flowering trees!
breathe in the freshness—as long as you don’t have allergies

[SLIDE TWO VIDEO: IN case our experience of this spring has been damped a bit by recent rain, I came across a brief time lapse video of Nature bursting into Spring…

I absolutely love it.
Creation: God’s word spoken! as we see in Genesis.
What does it mean for us that God Spoke everything into being? Do we believe this?
“All things have come into being through the Word,” says the gospel of John.
The celts affirm all things at heart are a birth or embodiment of God’s word- Christ.

On day three seeds planted deep within the earth--fruit-bearing life hidden within…burst forth.
A clear sign of an abundance of growth and potential.
Born of God, “God saw all the life springing forth from the ground, and said,
It’s all good.’

Goodness is not just a characteristic…
goodness is the very source of life.
Goodness is the essence of life
Our lives and all of creation come from that which is good;
and therefore in essence are good as well.  
Everything and every person in essence is good?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Day 2 - Born to be Wild

Chapter 2 - Day 2 (Much of what is sighted here is adapted or directly quoted from Philip Newell’s: The Book of Creation..)

SLIDE: Genesis 1: 6-8 -  (as Translated by J. Philip Newell in Celtic Benediction)
"On the second day the storm kept stirring. It was the wind of new beginnings. God was
saying, “let there be a space for creation.” And the wind carved out a hollow in the deep
waters. It was a cradle for life. Above, beneath and on every side of it were the everlasting
waters. God saw that it was good. It was a place for birth and abundance. And there was
evening and morning, creation’s second day.  
Wild. When’s the last time you used the word wild....? In what context?
- to describe someone’s hair?
- a car ride
- a travel adventure
-  a tattoo  
-  the behavior of a three year old?

- maybe you were just singing along to a song on the radio...  

Believe it or not, Steppenwolf‘s not far from the aspect of Celtic spirituality we are going to talk about today...

This is week two of what will be our seven week look at Celtic spirituality, during Eastertide.

I feel qualified to talk about Celtic Spirituality because, I’ve seen Braveheart! And more importantly, fortunately there are many good teachers out there about the Celtic Tradition.
One of whom [SLIDE: J. PHILIP NEWELL And The book of J. Philip Newell entitled: The Book of Creation: An Introduction to Celtic Spirituality.  will be our guide]

I met Philip Newell about 7 years ago, and was immediately impressed by his work...
- an evangelist of Celtic Christianity which has come out of primarily the Islands of Great Britain, he hopes to offer a different perspective of Christianity from the the more influential  theologies of Rome and Western Europe,
- He believes it is necessary and helpful
And in reading, talking with, and hearing Newell, I’ve found that, the Celtic perspective to be a breath of fresh air in my own faith seeking understanding.
You may find the same...

Today’s focus--on Wildness! is just another example as to why.
Last week, day 1, God spoke light into existence, a light within, over, behind, beyond all things. The light that shines from all of creation; and Peggy, you captured this beautifully in your testimony last week as you described discovering the light within.  It’s not that foriegn of a concept, perhaps because we know it to already be true.
This week, Day 2 - Wildness of God.